Feedlot panel discussion here Feb. 28

A panel discussion about the recently-established 11,600-head cattle feeding operation in nearby Clayton County is being sponsored by the NE Iowa Peace and Justice Center (NEIPJC) in Decorah on Feb 28.

NE Iowa Peace and Justice Center (NEIPJC) is sponsoring a panel discussion about the recently-established 11,600 head cattle feeding operation in Clayton County.

The program will take place Tuesday Feb. 28, at 6:30 p.m. at Good Shepherd Church, 701 Iowa Avenue in Decorah.

The venture is located in the headwaters of Bloody Run Creek, one of Iowa’s 34 remaining “Outstanding Waterways”.The stream’s watershed is a well-loved fishing and outdoor recreation area. After years of conflict over the project initiated by citizen and environmental groups, the operation’s nutrient management plan was approved by the Iowa DNR in April of 2021, and it has been fully operational since early 2022. With the anticipated production of over 30 million gallons of manure annually, this is one of Iowa’s largest cattle feedlots.

Panel discussion organizers have said the plan to spread the manure in a number of fields in the Driftless Area creates great risk to the integrity of the waters, especially because of the area’s karst topography.

“This is a perfect example of how Iowa law and DNR actions allow large livestock operations to pollute our water. It is up to Iowans to let our public officials know we demand clean water,” says Wally Taylor, attorney for Iowa Sierra Club.

The permit for the substantial water use required for a facility of this size has been given by the DNR, however, renewal of that permit is being challenged in the courts. Several nearby neighbors and other feedlot opponents allege that the facility will use dramatically more water than the owners stated and that the field-applied manure will cause pollution of the aquifer and streams. Iowa has more than 4,000 concentrated animal feeding operations with more than 1,000 cattle or 2,500 hogs each–plus an unknown number of smaller livestock facilities.

For more information, contact  NEIPJC at info@neipjc.org or 563-382-5337.